The Holy Spirit Gives Me Life

by Beth Fore

For if you live according
to the sinful nature, you will die; but
if by the Spirit you put to death
the misdeeds of the body, you will
live, because those who are led by the
Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive a spirit
that makes you a slave again to fear,
but you received the Spirit of sonship.
And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit
that we are God’s children.  Now if we
are children, then we are heirs—
heirs of God and co-heirs
with Christ, if indeed we share
in his sufferings in order
that we may also share
in his glory.
(Romans 8:13-17 NIV)

The Holy Spirit Gives Me Life

Holy Spirit, You are the One
who convicts me of my sin.
You call to my remembrance
the truths Christ taught to men.

When I live according to my flesh,
my sinful man’s desires I unleash.
But when I live by Your Spirit,
my mind is filled with life and peace.

When my mind is governed by flesh,
I cannot please God with my hostility.
But when I abide in the Spirit’s realm,
I live in Christ who gives me liberty.

Holy Spirit, when You live in me,
through righteousness, You give me life.
But when the flesh reigns in me,
my sin causes me to live in strife.

Please testify with me, Holy Spirit,
that I’m God’s child and Christ’s co-heir;
and by sharing in Christ’s sufferings,
in His glory I will also share.

I have the hope of redemption,
and my spirit groans inwardly.
I hope for what I do not yet have,
and I wait for it patiently.

I know that I am one of God’s chosen,
and through Christ I am justified.
Nothing can separate me from His love
and He left You to be my guide.

written by Beth Fore

*People who live lives that are led by the Holy Spirit will live because they are sons of God.

“For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Romans 8:13-14 NIV)

Every person has the choice to live a sinful life in the flesh and die, or live a life led by God’s Holy Spirit that leads to everlasting life.  As a Christian, I know that when I am giving in to my desires and seeking to do whatever pleases me and gives me pleasure.  This life separates me from God and His will, and it will result in the death of my spirit within me and a physical death that separates me from God.

God’s Holy Spirit convicts me of sin and brings to my mind the truths of Jesus. The Spirit gives me freedom and liberty.  He testifies that I am a child and an heir of Jesus Christ, and I will one day reign with Him and live in glory.  The Spirit of God groans for me when I cannot express myself in words, and He gives me comfort and peace.  The Spirit, living in my heart, empowers me to live a godly, righteous life.

*The believers, who are both children and heirs of Christ, will share in His sufferings so that they will also share in his glory one day.

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”  (Romans 8:17 NIV)

Christians understand and deeply appreciate what Christ suffered and sacrificed on the cross for our sakes.  He was a perfect, holy, sinless deity; yet, He was willing to take all of the sins of mankind onto Himself so that all of us could be forgiven, redeemed, and reconciled with God the Father.  Christ expects us to love Him with all of our hearts and to be willing to suffer, and even die, to bring honor and glory to His holy name.  There is a cost to discipleship, and that cost includes suffering for Him, and we should be willing to suffer for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

APPLICATIONS

  1. What does it mean, to you, to have the Holy Spirit of God living in your heart and leading your life?
  2. Make a list of the things the Bible that tells us what the Holy Spirit does in our lives, as Christians.
  3. Do you hear the Holy Spirit speaking to you?  How does the Spirit of God communicate with you?
  4. We are children and heirs of Christ.  What does it mean to be a co-heir with Christ and know that we have an inheritance from God, our Father?
  5. Reflect on your life and see if you can recall any times that you suffered for Christ because you were living the Christian life.
  6. Too often, today, the Christian life is depicted as a life of blessings, wealth, and good things happening in our lives.  The Bible clearly states that the Christian’s life will also include suffering for Christ.  Why is this an important concept to include in our teaching other people the gospel?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

My Shepherd

by Beth Fore

The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie
down in green pastures, he leads
me beside quiet waters, he restores
my soul. He guides me in paths of
righteousness for his name’s sake.
(Psalm 23:1-3 NIV)

My Shepherd

Jesus, You are My Shepherd
who provides and cares for me.
You are my strength and comfort,
even as I walk in the dark valley.

You lead me in green pastures,
and You quietly restore my soul.
You take all of my broken pieces,
repair them, and make me whole.

You leave the rest of the flock
and look for me when I stray.
Your rod and staff redirect me
and lead me in the right way.

Your presence is always with me,
and You take away my fear.
You are there to protect me
when my enemies are near.

Your goodness, kindness, and love
will follow me every day,
and I know that You, My Shepherd,
will guide me on the right pathway.

written by Beth Fore

*The analogy of Jesus and his people compared to a shepherd and his sheep is a comforting one for Christians.

“He tends his flock like a shepherd:  He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”  (Isaiah 40:11 NIV)

The shepherd leads the sheep.  He leads them to green pastures where they can feed well and to streams where they can get plenty of water to drink.  He holds them and examines them to see that they have no sores or diseases.  He uses his rod to push them in the right direction, and he uses his staff to put it around their neck and pull them back to safety.

Jesus picks up the little children and loves them and protects them from danger.  He watches after the mother ewes to protect them after giving birth to their little ones.  Jesus is a loving, caring, benevolent shepherd who names his sheep and calls them by name.  He knows each one and shows each sheep special attention.

This poem is written by one of the sheep to the shepherd.  It is a prayer to Jesus from one of his children.  The child is grateful for the love, care, and provision the shepherd provides for him.  The child is mindful and thankful that Jesus accepts him just as he is, broken and fragile.  He repairs the children and makes them whole. 

Jesus goes looking for his lost children when they wander away.  He wants each one of them to return to the flock under his loving care.  Jesus is always near his children to protect them from harm and danger from their enemies. 

Jesus guides his children in the paths of righteousness.  He keeps them near and shows them how to follow the right paths and avoid the large rocks and cliffs where they might stumble and fall to their death.

Jesus is the perfect shepherd and He is our shepherd.  What a blessing and sense of security we have, as Christians, to KNOW that Jesus will never leave or forsake us and He will always be near us to guide and lead us on the right path.

APPLICATIONS

  1. As your shepherd, how does Jesus protect you from danger?
  2. What does the phrase, “I shall not be in want” mean to you?
  3. Have you ever experienced a time when you wandered away from the flock and you felt that Jesus came looking for you?  If so, share the experience with some one.
  4. How does it make you feel to know that Jesus is always with you?
  5. What happens to sheep who do not have a shepherd?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

The Alabaster Jar

by Beth Fore

“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. 
“Why are you bothering her?
She has done a beautiful thing to me.
The poor you will always have with you,
and you can help them any time you want. 
But you will not always have me.  She did
what she could.  She poured perfume on
my body beforehand to prepare for
my burial. I tell you the truth,
wherever the gospel is preached
throughout the world, what she
has done will also be told,
in memory of her.”

(Mark 14:6-9 NIV)

The Alabaster Jar

A woman who lived a sinful life
went to the house of a Pharisee.
She was seeking to see Jesus
and came before Him in humility.

She stood behind Him weeping
and wet His feet with her tears.
She wiped them with her hair,
despite Simon and the disciples’ jeers.

She came with an alabaster jar
of very expensive perfume.
She poured perfume on Jesus’ head,
and sighs were heard in the room.

The disciples rebuked the woman
for foolishly spending this money,
but Jesus commended her and said,
“She has done a beautiful thing to me.”

The woman was preparing Jesus’ body
with perfume for burial upon His death,
and Jesus said she would be remembered
long after He would take His last breath.

The woman was willing to sacrifice
her money and give Jesus every thing,
so that she could serve her Master
and bring honor and praise to her King.

written by Beth Fore

*Jesus is very pleased when someone chooses to honor Him in a special way.

“Why are you bothering her?  She has done a beautiful thing to me.  The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want.  But you will not always have me.  She did what she could.”  (Mark 14:6-8 NIV)

A woman who had lived a very sinful life went to the house of a Pharisee to find Jesus.  She entered the house and came before Jesus in a humble manner.  She stood behind Him weeping, and she wet His feet with her tears.  She wiped them with her hair.  Then see poured very expensive perfume on Jesus’ head.

The apostles were surprised at such a display from this woman, and they criticized her for pouring a whole bottle of expensive perfume on Jesus’ head.  Some of them said that this money could have been sold and the money given to the poor. What the woman saw that the apostles didn’t see was that she recognized that Jesus was her Savior and she wanted to honor Him and do something very special for Him because He was worthy of all their honor and praise.

Giving money to the poor is definitely a wonderful thing to do, and Christians are taught to give to the poor; but, we are commanded to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, and soul, then love our neighbors.  Honoring God and praising Him and giving our ALL to Him is what pleases God most; so, this woman was very pleasing to Jesus.

*God is always pleased when His children use their gifts (spiritual and material) to serve and honor him.

“She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.  I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is peached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”  (Mark 14:8-9 NIV)

The woman knew she wanted to honor Christ.  She may or may not have known that she was preparing Jesus for his burial.  She was following the will of God; whether she was guided by an angel or the Holy Spirit, she did what she was asked to do.  And now we read the gospel of Mark and we remember what this woman did, just as Christ said we would.

God has given each one of us at least one spiritual gift, and He has given us many physical gifts.  He wants us to use all of these gifts to bring Him honor and glory in everything we do. 

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV).

APPLICATIONS

  1. What are some other examples in the Bible where a person honored God in a special way?
  2. Why can we identify with the apostles when they criticized the woman for not using the money to help the poor?
  3. The woman was willing to sacrifice her pride and money to honor Christ.  Are you willing to do the same?
  4. What is/are your spiritual gift(s), and how are you using it/them to give honor and glory to God?
  5. Why is it important for every Christian to use his or her spiritual gifts?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

May Beauty Surround You

by Beth Fore

But let all who take
refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over
them, that those who love
your name may rejoice
in you.  For surely, LORD,
you bless the righteous;
you surround them with
your favor as with a shield.

(Psalm 5:11-12 NIV)

May Beauty Surround You

May beauty surround you,
and God’s fragrance fill the air.
May God’s creation delight you,
may you see Him everywhere.

May joy come to you each morning
as He awakens you from sleep.
May you feel His arms around you
and know His promises He will keep.

May each day be filled with awe
as God reveals His wonders to you.
May you feel delight and excitement
in every wondrous thing you do.

May you sense His love and presence
as Nature sings her sweet refrain.
May your whole being be refreshed
as you hear the morning rain.

May you walk in lovely places
where the Spirit leads you to go.
May you listen to the Savior’s voice
and know that He loves you so.

May beauty surround you,
and God’s fragrance fill the air.
May God’s creation delight you,
may you see Him everywhere.

                                                         written by Beth Fore

*The people who rejoice in the LORD will be surrounded by His love, beauty, and protection.

“The righteous will rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him!”  (Psalm 64:10 NIV)

People who love the LORD and follow Him are joyful people, and God blesses them with His unfailing love, beauty that is found all around them, and the protection and provision they need to live and enjoy life. 

This poem/prayer is a prayer to bless God’s children.  May they be surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation so that they can sense the delightful fragrances in the air, taste the delicious treats from Mother Earth, feel the warmth of the sunshine, behold the beauty of the heavenly skies, hear the songs of the mourning dove, and experience all the surprises nature has in store for them. 

There is much security for the Christian in knowing and being assured that God will protect and provide for us.  We can concentrate on God and his blessings, rather than worrying about all the bad scenarios that might happen in our lives.  We can enjoy the moment and share God’s blessings and truths with other people because we are experiencing them firsthand and we are witnesses for God.

*God blesses righteous people and surrounds them with His favor and blessings.

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.”  (Psalm 90:17 NIV)

When God is pleased with His children, He shows them favor.  He blesses them; He rewards them; He gives them good things.  Most of us understand what it means for a parent to show a child favor.  We have likely experienced it firsthand.  The parent shows more love, forgiveness, generosity, and delight in one child than he does in another.  God favors His children who love, obey, and honor Him.

The Spirit of God will lead the obedient child of God into all truth; He will reveal mysteries to him; He will empower him with boldness and strength to represent God and act as a witness to other people.  The gift of the Holy Spirit and of Christ living within us in our hearts is the most beautiful gift we can receive, in addition to the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.  Let us rejoice and be forever grateful to our God for blessing us with these immeasurable, unsurpassable gifts!

APPLICATIONS

  1. Take five minutes and write down all of the blessings you have received from God during that time.  Then spend time in prayer thanking God for these blessings.
  2. The Bible tells us that it rains on both the just and unjust.  Christians will have problems and difficulties in their lives, just as non-Christians will.  However, God promises his favor and protection over his children.  Take some time and think of past experiences where you KNOW that God was protecting you and providing for you.  Share these experiences as a witness to other people.
  3. When we choose to follow God’s will, rather than our own will, things work out much better and we use our spiritual gifts to honor God and grow his kingdom.  How is God using you to honor Him and grow his kingdom?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

As I Come into Your Presence

by Beth Fore

“I have set the LORD always
before me. Because he is at
my right hand, I will not be
shaken. Therefore my heart
is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon
me to the grave, nor will you
let your Holy One see decay.
You have made known to me
the path of life; you will fill me
with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at
your right hand.”

(Psalm 16:8-11 NIV)

As I Come into Your Presence

As I come into Your presence, Lord,
please reveal Your will to me.
Please open up my heart and mind,
so that we share a deep intimacy.

As I come into Your presence, Lord,
uncover Your secret mysteries.
Show me Your truths in new ways
that bring joy as when a blind man sees.

As I come into Your presence, Lord,
fill my heart with thankfulness.
Remind me of all Your promises
and the ways that my life You bless.

As I come into Your presence, Lord,
please help me hear Your voice.
Fill my lips with words of praise
as in Your presence, I rejoice.

As I come into Your presence, Lord,
with reverence and humility,
renew within me a steadfast spirit,
make me holy and sanctify me.

written by Beth Fore

*When our focus is on God, our hearts are glad, our tongues rejoice, and our bodies will rest secure.

“I have set the LORD always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave….” (Psalm 16:8-10 NIV)

God is always near us when we want Him to be near.  God does not wander away; man wanders away from God.  God has an infinite storehouse of blessings to share with His children, and He can make us happier and more secure than any one or any thing else can.  So, when we focus on Him throughout the day in moments of prayer, meditation, thanksgiving, reading/listening to His word, and singing praises to Him, we will be strengthened and encouraged and safe in His arms. 

As God’s children, we have the privilege and honor of coming into His presence when we desire to do so. We want Him to open up our hearts and minds so that He will reveal himself more intimately to us and help us to be sure we know what His will is for our lives. 

*God makes His way of life and His will for our lives known to us.

“”You have made known to me the path of life;” (Psalm 16:11 NIV)

When we come into God’s presence, He will show us new truths and He will uncover the mysteries many people cannot understand.  He will remind us of all the blessings and promises He has made to His children.  Our hearts will overflow with gratitude, and our tongues will sing praises to Him and cry out His name in love and reverence because He is the great I AM and worthy to be praised.

*God will fill us with joy and eternal pleasures.

“….you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11 NIV)

God has placed his Holy Spirit in our hearts, and his Spirit makes us holy and humble and fills us with delight and joy.  These blessings begin in this carnal world when we become Christians, and they continue to go with our spirits as we leave this earthly body behind and our spirit goes to live with God for eternity.  We truly cannot fathom all of the wonderful things God has in store for us.  Let us offer up our praise and thanksgiving to God for all the marvelous blessings He has already done for us, is continuing to do for us, and will do for us throughout eternity.

Applications

  1. What does it mean to you, as a Christian, to know that you can enter into the presence of Almighty God through Jesus Christ, our High Priest, and know that He will hear you?
  2. This week, before you pray to God, take a few minutes and thank Him for all the things you can think of that He is giving to you that day.  Ask Him to help you think of more things as the day progresses and pause during the day to give Him thanks.
  3. Think about some of the things in the Bible that were once mysteries to you that God has revealed to you over the years.  Share these revelations with someone else.
  4. Examine your life and see if you are really joyful and peaceful.  If not, try to uncover the deceitful lies Satan is telling you to make you unhappy.
  5. What are some of the things you are most looking forward to when you get to heaven?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

The Battle is Won

by Beth Fore

“Finally, be strong in the Lord
and in his mighty power. Put
on the full armor of God, so
that you can take your stand
against the devil’s schemes.
For our struggle is not against
flesh and blood, but against
the rulers, against the authorities,
against the spiritual forces of evil
in the heavenly realms. Therefore
put on the full armor of God,
so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your
ground, and after you have
done everything, to stand.”

(Ephesians 6:10-13 NIV)

The Battle is Won

We are surrounded on every side
with sickness, evil, and depression.
Satan’s powerful deceitful forces
bombard us with defeat and oppression.

This sinful world is filled with agony
from suffering, pain, grief, and loss.
It is only through the mercy of a loving God
that the sins of this world are nailed to the cross.

Jesus endured much pain and affliction
and relentless persecution from the enemy;
yet He responded with love and kindness
and honored His father with great humility.

When our minds and bodies grow weary,
Jesus promises to give the heavy-laden rest.
When we surrender all of our burdens and cares,
He will draw us close to His loving breast.

Jehovah God is the only Sovereign Lord,
and He will ultimately defeat the enemy.
As Christians, we are soldiers in His army
and we will share in His glorious victory.

written by Beth Fore

*All Christians are in a battle with Satan and sin, and the only thing that can defeat Satan is the full armor of God and the blood of Jesus Christ, and his resurrection, which defeated death.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”  (Ephesians 6:10 NIV)

Christians must be knowledgeable and well-protected against Satan and his angels.  Satan is powerful and deceitful, and his greatest desire is to distract Christians so that they take their focus off of Jesus and put it on themselves.  He wants to dismantle God’s kingdom and entice Christians to follow him, rather than Jesus.

Satan attacks us with sickness, death, hopelessness, depression, poverty, war, dissension, and many other arrows of sorrow.  He wants to take away the joy and hope we have in Christ so that we don’t believe God’s promises.  He is relentless and he targets our weak spots, so we must be ever mindful of his presence, and we must put on the full armor of God and ask the Holy Spirit to give us strength to deny him and submit only to the will of God.

*Our struggle is against the rulers, authorities, and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  (Ephesians 6:12 NIV)

There are forces for good and evil in the heavenly realm, just as there are forces for good and evil in the earthly realm.  We don’t know who, or what, all of these forces are, but the Bible says that these are the spiritual forces of evil that we are really striving against.  Since we do not know who, or what, all of these forces are, we must ask the Holy Spirit and Jesus to surround us with their angels and other heavenly beings and protect us from the evil ones.  When there are strange happenings in our lives which we cannot explain, we must remember that there is a mighty battle between the forces of good and evil being fought in the heavenly places that affects our daily lives on earth.

*Christ is victorious over death, and His victory is our victory when we believe Him, trust Him, and obey Him.

“Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 15:55-57 NIV)

Christians who pray, study God’s Word, depend on God to lead and guide them into truth, and who are prepared for warfare with Satan and put on the armor of God will be victorious!  Jehovah God is the only Sovereign Lord and He is above all people and all things, including Satan and his angels.  We are the children of God, the soldiers in His army, and his heirs for eternity; therefore, when the world is destroyed, Christ will take the faithful ones home to heaven to live with Him eternally.

APPLICATIONS

  1. Think about Satan and what you know about him.  Write it down on a piece of paper.  Then spend some time looking for scriptures in the Bible that tell you more about Satan and his power.  A person needs to know and understand his enemy so that he can resist him and recognize him when he attacks.
  2. What is the full armor of God?  Do you arm yourself with God’s armor every day?
  3. Think about some of your weaknesses and pray about them.  Pray for God’s strength to overcome them.  Pray that God will help you be wiser and more discerning so that you will know when it is Satan who is attacking you.
  4. Most of us would look at the battle differently if we knew the outcome before fighting the battle.  Does it make you look at the struggles and conflicts in your own life differently when you know that you will go home to live with God when the battle is over?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

The Shadow of Death

by Beth Fore

“Even though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 
You prepare a table before me in the presence
of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.  Surely goodness
and love will follow me all the
days of my life, and I will
dwell in the house of the 
LORD forever.”

(Psalm 23:4-6 NIV)

The Shadow of Death

I see the shadow of death, Father,
and the time of departure is near.
I feel the minutes of life passing by
for this one whom I hold so dear.

My heart grieves and mourns
at the thought of my loved one’s passing.
I pray for comfort from this sorrow
that only Your Spirit can bring.

Help us to treasure each moment
and each precious memory we share.
Embrace us with Your loving arms
as we place our hearts in Your care.

Give us Your comfort and strength
as we place our trust and hope in You.
Give us peace that passes understanding
and a strong faith to see us through.

May Your Holy Spirit empower us
as death knocks at the door.
Let our faith glorify You in our grief,
an offering of praise to the One we adore.

May your angels carry our loved one home
to live in heaven with Thee.
Console us that we will be reunited
and forever share eternity.

written by Beth Fore

*Everyone will walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but Christians do not have to be fearful or afraid.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”  (Psalm 23:4 NIV)

A Christian sees death as the open doorway into heaven.  God promises his children that He will take them home to heaven to live with Him forever.

Everyone will walk with someone through the shadow of death and/or walk through the shadow of death themselves.  Most people are afraid of the unknown or the uncertainty of the afterlife; but Christians know that there is life after death, and they will be rewarded by God who has prepared a home with Him for eternity.

We grieve and mourn the loss of a loved one because we will miss their physical presence and they have been such an important part of our lives.  This is a normal, human response.  But our Christian response is to be happy for our family member, or friend, if he is a Christian, because we know he is going to live with God and no longer suffer or be in pain in a physical body. 

*God will give comfort and peace to Christians who are losing a loved one and to Christians who are dying.  The Holy Spirit of God, the Comforter, can provide a peace beyond human understanding for the people who believe in Him.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:7 NIV)

We know that God will give us the peace, comfort, and strength to make it through any circumstance we may encounter in this life.  He promises this, and He will be our source of strength and peace when we call upon His name and claim this promise.

Non-Christians are often puzzled by the way Christians can seem so calm during the unexpected death of a loved one.  The Holy Spirit guides the Christian into all peace and reminds him that his loved one is still alive in spirit and that spirit is now in heaven with God.

*The Christian knows that God loves and provides for his children in this life — and in the life to come.

“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23:6 NIV)

When Christians trust in God and give their concerns and fears to Him, God sets them free from worry and fear. They believe His promise to take care of them and provide for them and give them a home in heaven where they will live with Him forever.  Christians have a lifetime guarantee that God will take care of them forever!

APPLICATIONS

  1. Have you walked through the shadow of death with a loved one who was a Christian?  How did this walk affect the way you think about death for yourself?
  2. How does the hope and assurance of salvation affect the way you live in this world?  How does it affect the way you view your own death?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

BE STILL, MY RESTLESS SOUL

by Beth Fore

“Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires
of your heart.  Commit your way
to the LORD; trust in him and he
will do this:  He will make your
righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the
noonday sun.  Be still before the
LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in
their ways, when they carry out
their wicked schemes.”

(Psalm 37:4-7 NIV)

Be Still, My Restless Soul

Be still, my restless soul
and persevere patiently.
God will some day reveal
what is now a mystery.

Be quiet, my wandering spirit,
and listen to God speak.
His words will strengthen you
when your resolve is weak.

Be at peace, my troubled heart,
and rest in Jesus’s arms.
He will carry your burdens,
and protect you from harm.

Be pure, my sinful body,
and don’t listen to Satan’s cries.
God’s Spirit will empower you
to resist his deceitful lies.

Be trusting, my doubting mind,
and believe in God’s promises.
God will be faithful and loving
and fill you with inner bliss.

Be submissive, my willful self,
and give in to God’s control.
God’s way is best for you.
He alone can make you whole.

written by Anna Beth Fore

*Delight in the Lord and commit your way to the Lord.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:  He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”  (Psalm 37:4-6 NIV)

Jehovah God created mankind and gave him the ability to make choices about his life and whom he will choose to serve. When we acknowledge that God is the one and only Sovereign whom we will worship and serve, we come to know Him intimately and He blesses us in bountiful ways. When we choose to obey His will over our own, God is delighted and favors us as His children and heirs. 

Man’s selfish nature and inward focus is the greatest barrier that separates him from God.  God is the great I AM, and He desires that every one will bow down and worship Him. When we choose God over ourselves, we give ourselves wholly to Him and He knows that we trust Him to do what is best for our lives to bring Him honor and glory and praise, so that all people and all things will worship Him.

When we trust in God, He says He will make our righteousness shine like the dawn. We cannot make ourselves righteous because we are sinners. Only a perfect sacrifice can be righteous before God! Jesus Christ is the ONLY perfect sacrifice, so He offered himself to be crucified on a cross so that His blood would be shed for all of mankind and His blood makes us righteous when we believe in Him and obey Him. 

*Christians are told to be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.

“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” (Psalm 37:7 NIV)

It is very difficult for human beings to be still and wait patiently. This must be an intentional trait we learn by practice and diligence. When we learn to be still, silent, patient, and quiet, we open our minds and hearts to hear God speak to us through his Holy Spirit. Then He reveals His mysteries to us, strengthens us, carries our burdens, and protects us from harm. He empowers us to resist Satan and his lies and He fills our hearts with joy!

When we are quiet and still and patient, we are waiting to hear God’s voice, so it is more likely we will hear Him when He speaks to us. In the stillness, we can offer ourselves to God, as a living sacrifice, to follow His will for our lives. God has a plan for our lives, and it IS the BEST plan for our life.  So, when we ask God to show us His will for our lives, we need to search carefully and be sure we are conforming to His will and not trying to get Him to conform to ours.

We come to truly know God by being still and quiet and spending time in his presence, seeking His will for our lives.

APPLICATIONS

  1. What are some things you can do to avoid distractions when you are trying to be still before the Lord?
  2. Ask yourself if you really do commit your way to the Lord. Write down some of the ways you have spent your time, energy, and resources during the past week. Then evaluate yourself and see if you have really committed your way to God.
  3. Think back on some things you have prayed for in the past that took some time before you heard God’s answer.  What did you learn during these waiting periods? 
  4. How can you encourage your children to wait on the Lord as they are learning to pray and be still?
  5. How can you know that you are following God’s plan for your life rather than your own plan for your life?  

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

My Comforter

by Beth Fore

“And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another
Counselor to be with you forever—
the Spirit of truth.  The world cannot
accept him, because it neither
sees him nor knows him.  But
you know him, for he lives with
you and will be in you.  I will
not leave you as orphans; I will
come to you.  Before long,
the world will not see me
anymore, but you will see
me.  Because I live, you also
will live.  On that day you will
realize that I am in my Father,
and you are in me, and
I am in you.”

(John 14:16-20 NIV)

My Comforter

Praise to You, Almighty God,
for Your Spirit living in me.
Thank You for Your comfort
in my sadness and misery.

No human understands me, God,
and no one knows how I feel;
but Your Holy Spirit comforts me
when my soul is quiet and still.

I don’t have the right words, God,
to express myself to You;
but Your spirit speaks for me
when Your heart, my heart pursues.

When I come into Your presence,
You give me peace of mind.
Only through Your Spirit, God,
can my soul this comfort find.

I need Your peace and comfort
each moment of each day.
I want to walk in step with You
and hear each word You say.

Praise to You, Almighty God,
for Your Spirit living in me.
Thank You for Your comfort,
inner peace and serenity.

written by Beth Fore

*Jesus tells his disciples that when he returns to heaven, He will give them a Counselor and a Comforter, who is the Spirit of truth and will be with them forever.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.”  (John 14:16 NIV)

The apostles and disciples of Christ really do not understand that Jesus is not going to remain on earth and be a king who defeats other nations.  Jesus is trying to get his disciples to understand that his kingdom is a spiritual kingdom.  He is going to return to heaven, but He wants to reassure them that He is not leaving them alone.  They will receive the Holy Spirit of Almighty God, who is also called the Counselor and the Comforter. 

The Holy Spirit will guide them into all truth, and He will transform them so that they have the strength and boldness and ability to say and do mighty things to honor and glorify God.  Jesus is telling them that this great gift of God’s Holy Spirit cannot come and complete God’s mission until Christ ascends into heaven.

*The world will not accept or believe that there is a Holy Spirit because they cannot see him or know him.  Believers will accept him because he will live in them, and they will recognize his power and activity in their spirits. 

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”  (Romans 8:26-27 NIV)

Only the believers in Christ will accept and understand the Spirit of God.  The Spirit is revealed to them and placed in their hearts to give them peace and comfort and to hear their cries and pleas and to moan and groan before God the Father in their behalf. 

The Spirit prompts Christians to do the right things that God the Father desires that they do.  He guides them and leads them in the way of life, light, and truth.  He gives them the strength and boldness to do things they cannot do on their own.  The Spirit of God is the breath of God living in us, the fire that gives us the fuel and energy to do great things, and the living fountain of water that nourishes our souls and spirits and gives us new life and energy.

*Non-believers in Christ do not see or believe in Christ, but believers see and know Him because they have become a part of Christ and He lives in them.

“Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.  Because I live, you also will live.  On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (John 14:19-20 NIV)

Jesus says that one day the world will no longer see him, but his believers will see him.  Christ lives, after being crucified on the cross for our sins, and He is immortal after his resurrection and this gives immortality to all men.  Those who believe in Him, receive Him, and obey Him are a part of this circle of love and life that Christ describes as, “I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

Almighty God, our Father in heaven, has given us the greatest gifts we can ever receive:  the gift of life on earth, the gift of forgiveness and salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ, the gift of His Holy Spirit and of Jesus living in our hearts, and the promise and hope of eternal life with Him in heaven! 

APPLICATIONS

  1. Make a list of the things the Bible says the Holy Spirit does in the life of a Christian.
  2. When you pray, specifically ask the Holy Spirit to show you God’s will and ask Him to guide you and direct you along God’s path.
  3. How does it make you feel to KNOW that the Holy Spirit of God and Jesus lives inside of you in your heart?
  4. Write down some of the things Christ and the Holy Spirit have done in your life.  Share these things with other people.

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.

Jesus, the Bright Morning Star

by Beth Fore

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel
to give you this testimony
for the churches.  I am the Root
and the Offspring of David,
and the bright Morning Star.”
The Spirit and the bride say,
“Come!”  And let him who
hears say, “Come!”  Whoever
is thirsty, let him come; and
whoever wishes, let him take the
free gift of the water of life.”

(Revelation 22:16-17 NIV)

Jesus, the Bright Morning Star

Just as the sun is a great star
that brings warmth and light,
so are You, the precious Star of David,
who shines on us both day and night.

Our earth and sun are in relationship,
and the sun allows things to live.
People are in relation with You, Christ.
You have the power to love and forgive.

Everything that happens on the sun
affects the earth in some curious way.
Everything that happened to You, Jesus,
affects us as human beings every day.

The sun is a great source of energy
that provides the earth with power.
Jesus Christ, You dwell in our hearts
and daily renew us and empower.

The earth is tiny in comparison
with the sun’s magnanimous size.
One human being seems so small,
yet, You hear each person’s cries.

written by Beth Fore

*Jesus calls himself the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.

“I, Jesus have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.  I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”  (Revelation 22:16 NIV)

Israel, the Jewish nation, was told that the Messiah would come from the tribe of David.  It was important that Jesus claimed his identity and the fact that he was a descendant of David.  All prophecy in the Old Testament must come to pass just as it was prophesied.  Jesus, himself, is testifying that He is the root and the offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star who was prophesied before.

Our physical sun is a great star that shines on us during the day.  The sun warms the earth, and from it comes great energy and power.  The planets exist in relationship to the sun.  Similarly, Jesus is the spiritual sun who shines light into the world so that we may see His goodness.  Jesus is a great source of energy and power to the people in the world, and all people exist in relationship to Jesus.

The bright morning star is actually the planet Venus, which appears in the sky both at night and in the day.  It is a bright steady shining light that guided the shepherds of old, and of today, and it guides people in the right direction in a world of sin.  Jesus Christ does all of these things, and He is our bright morning star.

*The Spirit of God invites everyone who is thirsty to come to Him, and He will give them the free gift of the water of life.

“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”. (John 6:35 NIV)

Our lives depend on water!  We cannot live without it!  When our bodies become dehydrated for lack of water, we often become faint or confused, and our bodies do not function in the healthy, active way they should act if enough water is present in our system.  Sometimes, we have to make ourselves drink the proper amount of water to keep our bodies healthy because we need a lot of water to make our bodies efficient.

In the same way, our souls thrive on our relationship with Jesus, and we cannot live without it, if we want to be spiritually alive.  We make selfish, careless decisions when we make them without considering God’s will for our lives.  When we pray often, and fervently, to our God, we ask Him to guide us in this life, to be the water that nourishes our spirit.  He gives us His Holy Spirit to live in us and serve as a living fountain to nurture us, sustain us, and to give us the strength and energy we need to do His will.

Jesus offers everyone who is thirsty and desires a drink of water, the free gift of the water of life.  Jesus is referring to himself.  He is the water of life, and He offers himself up freely to anyone who desires Him and is willing to receive Him.  What an awesome gift and promise this is for all people!  The gift has already been made possible through the blood of Christ on the cross, and His victory over death when He was resurrected; however, each person must decide for himself to receive or reject the gift of life.

APPLICATIONS

  1. Make a list of the names of Jesus (i.e., the root and offspring of David, the bright and morning star, etc.) Use these names when you pray and speak about Jesus.
  2. We used the analogy of the Sun and the Son in this poem.  What other similarities do you see between them?
  3. What do you use to guide you when you are stumbling in the dark?
  4. What happens to you when you don’t drink enough water?  Make a list.  What happens when you don’t drink enough spiritual water?  Make a list.
  5. Why is this gift of living water the most valuable gift a person can ever receive?
  6. Why do you think so many people refuse this gift?

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a Christian or to become a Christian, click this link: https://woww.newlifebehavior.org/what-it-means-to-follow-jesus-how-to-become-a-christian/ If you have questions, please send us an email at nlbiministry@gmail.com.